UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin is proposing a plan to give all University of Wisconsin System campuses more freedom from state regulations, but a System official said the proposal is problematic because it still calls for UW-Madison to split from the rest of the System.
"At its core, it is not a compromise," said System spokesman David Giroux. "It still results in the fracture of our unified public university system."
In a letter to members of the state Legislature's budget committee, UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin suggests changes to statutory language in Gov. Scott Walker's budget to give other System campuses more control over funding, setting tuition, creating personnel systems, building and purchasing.
But she writes that "UW-Madison seeks to maintain its treatment in the current budget bill to become a public authority." In Walker's budget, UW-Madison would separate from the System, getting its own 21-member board of trustees.
She sent the letter Friday, a day after Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, charged UW System administration and Martin to come to a compromise at a hearing of the budget committee.
Martin will meet with members of that panel Wednesday to discuss the proposal, said Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor for university relations.
Giroux said that the UW Board of Regents and the other chancellors support a plan that would keep UW-Madison in the System.